Estate plans: Should special needs loved ones be disinherited?

Many people in New York and elsewhere with special needs require care throughout their lives. Because care and other necessities can prove costly, many of these individuals tend to obtain government benefits in hopes of making ends meet and maintaining the ability to live their lives as best as possible. Of course, when individuals are considering their estate plans, they may want to leave money behind for their special needs loved ones, but should they?

Because government benefits are often income-based, if a special needs person inherits a considerable sum, that amount could end up disqualifying the individual for much needed financial benefits. Some people may consider disinheriting their special needs loved ones or even be told that they should. However, that does not have to be the course of action followed.

With estate planning, there are many tools that could help distribute assets. When it comes to leaving assets to a special needs person, using a trust is often a useful option. By putting funds or other assets into a trust, the inheritance still goes to the desired person but indirectly. As a result, it will not affect his or her ability to receive government benefits.

Many people are greatly concerned with ensuring that their estate plans help their surviving loved ones. This can be especially true for New York residents with special needs family members or friends. Fortunately, individuals can discuss these concerns with estate planning attorneys and determine the best options for making sure that plans reflect their desired intentions and cover the areas they find most important.

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